May 19 2013 Latest news:
By PAUL HARPER
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
A FRIEND of a cyclist crushed to death by a lorry in Camden Town last week has written to Boris Johnson to urge him to take action to prevent more tragedies at the busy junction.
Paul Dean made the impassioned plea in an emotive letter to the Mayor of London after his former classmate Paula Jurek died at the junction of Camden Road and St Pancras Way.
Paula, a 20-year-old from Poland who was a tourism student at London Metropolitan University in Holloway, died when her bike collided with an articulated lorry.
In the heartfelt letter, Mr Dean said: “I wish it were happier circumstances that had me writing to the Mayor of my city, but unfortunately a tragedy brings me to compose this letter while still too shocked and restless to sleep.
“My friend Paula, a bright and enormously kind girl, was struck so severely that she had no chance of recovery and died at the scene.
“I applaud the introduction of safety mirrors that allow lorry drivers to better see cyclists on their blind sides, but at the very busy junction where Paula died there are none of these mirrors, so terribly rare they still are.
“Nor are there any cycle boxes there, despite many cyclists passing through, while eyewitnesses also imply that the lights at this junction have not been functioning reliably recently and that there are frequent near misses at this location, all of which is of concern.
“Even a casual visit to the spot where Paula died makes it abundantly clear that the intersection could be safer. I would ask that, if nothing else, you immediately exercise the powers of your office to address these specific issues before any similar incidents are allowed to occur.”
He added: “During my time at London Metropolitan University, it is my understanding that Paula was not the only student there killed cycling on our roads and this kind of accident typically happens once a month in London. Until this is addressed, there can only be further tragedies.”
Mr Dean’s fears are echoed by other cyclists who regularly use the busy four-way yellow box junction close to Camden Road station.
Simon Stevens, 18, said: “This road is dangerous. There was something wrong with the traffic lights for awhile. I don’t like coming through here because you always get beeped by cars.”
Mr Dean 31, also paid tribute to his friend, who he met when they both began a French evening class at London Met in December.
He said: “She was kind, friendly, never judgemental and always willing to listen. We need more people like Paula in this world.”
A post examination was due to be opened and adjourned at St Pancras Coroners Court yesterday (Tuesday).
Police say the blue coloured articulated lorry was turning left into St Pancras Way when it collided with the cyclist on its passenger side.
The road death investigation unit at Alperton Traffic Garage asked anyone with information on the incident to contact them on 020 8998 9319.
l A 65-year-old man, who was driving the lorry, was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous or careless driving and bailed until June pending further inquiries.